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4 important metrics you're forgetting about

4 important metrics you're forgetting about Greg Kihlström

There are countless ways to measure the performance of your marketing efforts. Ever since the big data revolution introduced us to a wealth of information, it has been possible to see more than ever before. Whether you are watching individual channels or creating a holistic view of the effectiveness of your marketing and advertising, there is an endless amount of data you can use.

Often, the biggest challenge isn't getting access to the statistics and performance numbers, but rather determining which metrics we should pay attention to above others. While the way you describe success may vary from others because of your unique business or audience demographics, there are some global metrics that will be helpful to your efforts, regardless of the specifics of your business. In this article, we're going to look at a few important metrics you might be forgetting about.

Individual content driving conversions

Content marketing can demand a lot of time and effort if you're writing articles, creating videos, designing infographics, or any number of other items. It's important to understand the nuanced performance of several aspects related to your content marketing. This includes paying attention to what types of content perform best on which channels, as well as what is the most effective subject matter. You should also be looking at how content performs on different platforms, such as mobile versus desktop.

Remember that your measurement and analysis becomes more powerful by combining multiple dimensions. This will provide a deeper understanding of your content's effectiveness. It will have the added benefit of helping to make you and your team more efficient by understanding which of your efforts are less effective than others, saving you time and money that can instead be put toward the things that are working well.

Customer lifetime value

We are often laser-focused on what's going on today or even at this particular moment in time, but doing so can keep us from understanding the long-term relationships we have with customers. While many organizations have teams that look at the overall customer experience, it is important that all marketers understand how important it is.

As it is often said, it is almost always more difficult to win a new customer than it is to retain a current one. By taking this longer view of the customer experience, marketers will find their jobs get easier on several fronts. First, there are a greater number of brand advocates out there that feel passionately about your brand, which helps with word of mouth. Second, once you have a strong following, there are many opportunities to convert them over a lifetime.

Along similar lines as customer lifetime value, it is also important to track the performance of a campaign over time. Often, numbers may be higher toward the beginning of your efforts and wane over time. It's important to understand these trends so you can continually optimize for the lifetime of the campaign.

Website technical performance

You are undoubtedly watching your website analytics as a measure of your marketing success. Things like traffic, engagement, referral sources, and conversion rates are no doubt already on your radar. There may, however, be things that you're not paying attention to as much.

Things like page speed, web hosting performance, and other details may seem like things you should relegate to your IT department, but they can have a major effect on both your search engine performance and the overall customer experience. Google offers its PageSpeed Insights to help website owners view their websites in terms of a number of metrics such as load time and other performance measures. Understanding the technical performance of your website can have a major boost on your overall performance.

Many times there can be very simple methods to improve some of these statistics as well. Whether it involves having your web development team optimize the code for your pages, or finding a more suitable web hosting platform that gives you the speed you need, sometimes a few changes can make a big difference.

Readers and finishers

Often, marketers use more easily obtainable metrics such as time spent on the site or pages visited as a measure of engagement with the content on their website. While tools such as Google Analytics make it simple to see if a user loads a page, it is a little more difficult to tell if people are actually reading your content, let alone finishing it once they start.

Understanding the reading behavior of your website can tell you what types of content your customers prefer, as well as the optimal length for content that you create. For instance, if you knew that readers finish articles you write as long they are 500 words or less, but there is a 50 percent chance they won't complete them if they are 750 words or more, this would be incredibly helpful as you plan your content strategy.

While this may sound more difficult to track than some other website statistics, by setting event tracking at the start and end points of your content, you can determine this quite easily, and by determining optimal content length, as well as which content is more popular, it should make you a more effective marketer. You will be able to see not only who starts reading, but also who goes all the way to the end of the content. Within a short amount of time, you'll be able to gain a lot of insights about the value of your content to your audiences.


As you can see, there are often numbers and methods of measurement that can provide you with additional and often deeper insights into how well your marketing and advertising efforts are performing.

Hopefully taking a look at some of these additional metrics has given you some new ideas of how to better analyze and report on your marketing effectiveness. With a better look at what is working and what isn't, you can prioritize your marketing strategies and tactics and get better results.

Greg is SVP of Digital at Yes&, a performance-driven marketing agency in the Washington, DC region. He was founder and CEO of Carousel30, a digital agency he started in 2003 which was acquired in late 2017 by PCI Communications which, together...

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